It seems like the entire media and political world kept a close eye on filings for Northern Ohio congressional primary races due Friday. But while one high profile local media personality isn't running - yet - the local media personality who is running may surprise you.
When the 4 PM deadline hit, former Mahoning Valley congressman-turned-con-turned-radio host Jim Traficant did not file in the Democratic primary for two congressional seats he's been eyeing - his former slot in the 17th District, now reconstituted to take in part of the Akron area, with former Traficant aide Tim Ryan in office now, or the 6th District, which includes southern parts of the Youngstown area, a seat held by Charlie Wilson if we remember right.
When your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) heard that Traficant declined to enter either Democratic primary, it was obvious to us...he's going independent.
And according to this Associated Press article, that's exactly what he's going to do.
According to the AP blurb, Traficant "is leaving the Democratic Party and considering a run for office as an independent." He has yet to determine if he's going to run, and in which district.
The article quotes Traficant's statement on, you guessed it, his Saturday afternoon talk show on Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 in Cleveland.
The move shouldn't be a surprise to diehard Traficant watchers.
Though he's been a member and officeholder in the Democratic Party for decades, that's almost required to win office in the Democratic stronghold that is the Mahoning Valley. Throughout his political career, Traficant has basically been almost a one-man party of his very own.
Since exiting the custody of the federal prison system, Traficant has spent time around independent political types, and has mixed it up with those people.
So, no surprise here, and it gives Traficant more time to do his WTAM weekend show...with the filing deadline for non-party candidates some months down the road.
But what is a surprise is a candidate who filed for office on Friday.
He's former Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 Cleveland anchor Tim White, who we thought was happy living in Wyoming after leaving 13th and Lakeside.
Apparently he wants to return to the Cleveland area, according to a story on his former home station's website, as a political figure:
Former Channel 3 anchorman Tim White has filed to run for the 17th House District seat.
That's the seat now held by Josh Mandel who is running as the Republican candidate for State Treasurer.
White left Channel 3 in December, 2008. He has homes in Pepper Pike and Wyoming.
He is running as a Democrat. Some people found that surprising.
White said, "Think blue dog."
Actually, we're surprised by the whole thing. We didn't know White had political aspirations even after he left "Channel 3 News" late last year.
At least it makes one thing easy for WKYC - the newsroom there didn't have to go searching far for a picture of the candidate...